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Thu, 19 Nov



Planet Shaftesbury links with Dorset CAN

A discussion to create a network for action on climate and the environment across rural Dorset, including responding to Dorset Council's climate & ecological emergency draft strategy.

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Planet Shaftesbury links with Dorset CAN
Planet Shaftesbury links with Dorset CAN

Time & Location

19 Nov 2020, 19:00 – 20:30


About the Event

Planet Shaftesbury is joining this discussion hosted by the proposed new  DorsetCAN - a climate action network for Dorset. 

The Purpose of the Open Meeting

  • To bring together everyone in Dorset who acknowledges we are in a Climate & Ecological Emergency and wants to do something about it. We all know we are stronger together.
  • To learn from an established and successful county-wide Climate Alliance. We will use this learning to inform the process of creating our own Climate Network in Dorset.

To gather ideas about:

  • The mission of the Dorset Climate Action Network
  • Our collective response to Dorset Council’s Climate & Ecological Emergency Draft Strategy and Action Plan

RSVP to if you plan to attend

Join Zoom Meeting here:

NB: A follow-up meeting has been scheduled for 25th November.

The two notes below have been provided by the embryonic DorsetCAN to support your participation in the meeting. 

1. About DorsetCAN Mission

Name of the network

We propose Dorset Climate Action Network, with mnemonic Dorset CAN.

We might add a strapline – either Thinking Globally, Acting Locally orStronger Together

Thematic scope of the Network. We propose that this should embrace

- climate change and the directly related issues of adapting to change and of mitigating the change by urgent reduction in the emission of greenhouse gases

- promoting sustainable use of theworld's resources, and opposing abuse of those resources, for example by excess use and dumping of plastic

- reversing the global and local loss of wildlife

- pursuit of social justice, for example in tackling fuel poverty

- promoting resilience, sustainability and regeneration.

Geographic area.  We propose to focus on the mainly rural Dorset Council area, excludingBournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) , because

- the issues in BCP are complex and different from those in mainly rural Dorset

- Dorset Council - with its powers and funds related to education, highways, planning, refuse disposal etc. - is a prime actor in the climate field and a major target for us in terms of partnership and lobbying.  We will need to focus our energy on the actions of bodies which are focused on this rural county.

Statement of Aims – provisional wording

“Dorset Climate Action Network has been set up in response to the rapidly growing public concern about the impact of climate change, the use and abuse of the world's resources, the loss of wildlife and the related threats to social justice at global, national and local level. The Network aims to stimulate awareness of these issues and to support action by people and local organisations throughout Dorset County, as a complement to action by national government, Dorset Council and other agencies.”

Network members.  We propose that the core of the membership should be local organisations, based within Dorset, which are, or wish to become, active in fields related to climate change, use and abuse of resources, protection of wildlife and related issues of social justice. This embraces town and parish councils and civil society organisations.

We will be open to the involvement of regional groupings of relevant organisations.

Membership of the Network will also be fully open to individuals, particularly those who offer skills that we need or whose organisations may become Network members.

We aim to work closely with county-level organisations who are active in our field.

Activities. The activities of the Network would be decided in response to the expressed needs of members.  Possible elements might be :

- provision of information about global, national, regional and county-level policies, programmes, funding, events, petitions etc

- public information about the members

- exchange of news about activities across the county

- support for events organised by members, district groups and the Network itself

- sourcing of advice and expertise

- sharing of experiences and expertise, e.g. through topic groups

- awareness-raising and advice to all who want to ‘make a difference’

- training programmes, complementary to those run by Extinction Rebellion and others

- advocacy to Dorset Council and other agencies and organisations.

The Network would become a Voice for those in Dorset who care about these issues

2. Summary of Dorset Council's Climate & Ecological Emergency Strategy & Action Plan

On 29th October, Dorset Council published a draft Climate & Ecological Emergency Strategy, which states how it proposes to pursue its Declaration of Emergency of May 2019. Its overall aim is to achieve net zero carbon emissions in its own activity by 2040, and in all activities within the county by 2050 (the Government‘s target date for the whole country). All Dorset residents are now invited to comment on the draft Strategy before 9 December. We encourage you to respond. You can find the document and the questionnaire at

The Strategy sets out the framework for action to become a carbon neutral County. It is structured under key areas of action - Buildings, Natural Assets, Water, Economy, Renewable Energy, Food & Drink, Transport, Waste and ‘Making it Happen’. These headings are then reflected in a detailed Action Plan, as a menu for action by the Council and by organisations and citizens throughout the County.

The Action Plan lists 187 actions. 100 of these may be achievable through ‘business as usual’ : the others may involve extra spending of £127 million over the next 20 years. This extra spending will start in 2021/22 with capital spending on electric vehicles and generating renewable energy.

The Council will act in three main ways to drive forward action within the County :

- direct action to reduce its own carbon footprint from use of energy and water on its buildings and land, staff travel, waste etc.

- indirect action to ensure that its key services - planning, housing, economic development, waste, transport etc – are delivered in a carbon-saving way

- work in partnership with towns, parishes, organisations and communities across the County to pursue programmes and projects which will create fundamental change.

It will push the Government for clear policy and the funding needed for transition to a zero carbon future. It will seek win-win linkage between climate-related action, enriching natural systems, strengthening the local economy and addressing social issues, such as fuel poverty. health and mental wellbeing, air quality and healthy diets.  It will monitor and report each year on progress in action and in achieving the targets to reduce carbon emissions.

Dorset CAN will prepare a collective response to the Strategy, drawing on the views of all present at the 19 November gathering. A first draft of our response will be discussed at the members’ meeting on 25 November. After a further round of consultations with members in early December, it will be finalised, submitted and publicised on 8 December.

We expect to examine particularly the following points :

- Are the target dates for zero carbon – 2040 for the Council’s own activity, 2050 for the whole County – ambitious enough, in view of the growing evidence that the climate is changing very fast and causing grave social, economic and environmental damage ?

- Can we point to ways by which decarbonisation can be speeded up ?

- Can we, in the Climate Action Network, make a dynamic contribution to the process of cutting carbon emissions, enriching wildlife habitats, contributing to social justice ?

- Can we, indeed, be an active partner – as well (where necessary) a critic – of Dorset Council in this vital campaign to save the natural systems and populations of the world ?

We encourage members to take interest in the Strategy, because the proposals may increasingly affect all our lives. Moreover, we can all contribute to the fight to slow down global warming, reduce the adverse impacts of climate change, stop pollution and protect wildlife. We look forward to your comments at the meeting on 19 November.

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